Dear Moms

Dear Moms,

I'm writing this from my mom's hospital room. I simply couldn't stand to be anywhere else right now.  Since her spine surgery on Sept. 19th I've spent about 20 hours a day right here.  With all the nurses, aides, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, dietary workers and case managers visiting her room around the clock, I haven't had much rest.  But that has given me time to think.  I'll have lots more time to think in the coming months during her rehab stay and following recommended surgeries for cataracts and pelvic organ prolapse. 

As you hit your 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's your children are likely to watch your health deteriorate, too.  Backs, knees and hips have seen better days.  Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems rear their ugly heads.  Don't get me started on the problems that occur in the panty area.  It won't be an easy time for you or your grown kids, but if you make some good health choices now, you'll all enjoy a better quality of life.

First of all, please remember that you're setting a health example for us.  Talk all you want about what we SHOULD eat and how much we SHOULD exercise.  Take us to the doctor every time we sniffle.  That's a good thing, but we'll all be better off if YOU eat right, exercise and see YOUR doctor regularly.  Ignoring your sleep apnea, diminishing sight, aching knees and heartburn will eventually take its toll on all of us.  Your morbid obesity, shortness of breath or stress drinking may not cause much of a problem now, but you just wait... it'll become a MAJOR issue down the road.  

I advertised for a home health aide recently.  One bold applicant warned me that, "if my mama is fat," she wouldn't be able to lift her.  I started wondering if I could lift my mom.  She has lost nearly 30 pounds since my gastic bypass surgery at Catawba Valley Medical Center, but she is still a big woman.  She has too many health issues to qualify for weight loss surgery, but its not too late for lots of moms to change their ways.  Whether its getting serious about healthy food choices or taking care of minor medical issues, you've got to do it.  It'll teach your children how to take care of their bodies and it'll make it easier for them to care for you when you get older.  Either way, its win-win for the family.